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Osteoconductivity of Porous Polyethylene in Human Skull

Tark, Woo Hyun MD; Yoon, In Sik MD; Rah, Dong Kyun MD, PhD; Park, Beyoung Yun MD, PhD; Kim, Yong Oock MD, PhD

Journal of Craniofacial Surgery: January 2012 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p 78–80
doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e318240c85d
Original Articles

Purpose Recently, biomaterials have been generally used in reconstruction of a bony defect or augmentation of the facial skeleton. Medpor implants in vivo in animal models showed both soft tissue and bony ingrowth into its pores and have been widely accepted to have an osteoconduction activity. However, in an in vivo study in humans, there was no definite evidence of bony ingrowth into the pores of Medpor. This study examined the osteoconductivity of Medpor in human vivo.

Methods We gained a total of 24 Medpor blocks when removing a distraction device in 11 patients with craniosynostosis. The Medpor blocks were used for secure placement of the distraction device. The blocks were taken out after distraction and consolidation periods. The surface of Medpor in contact with the bone was histologically examined to confirm the osteogenic activity.

Results There was no evidence of osteoconduction in all 24 specimens. The mean total duration of implantation was 2.5 months.

Conclusions In human vivo, implantation of a porous polyethylene implant is thought to have no osteogenetic effect through osteoconductive activity even in young children.

From the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Institute for Human Tissue Restoration, Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Received January 20, 2011.

Accepted for publication April 6, 2011.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Yong Oock Kim, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Severance Hospital, Yonsei University Medical College, 134 Shinchon-dong, Seodaemoon-gu, Seoul 120-752, Republic of Korea; E-mail:

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2012 Mutaz B. Habal, MD